Suuns - Felt

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2018-03-02
Suuns - Felt
Suuns - Felt

The last Suuns album, Hold/Still was disconsolate in mood, and unyielding in its experimental scope. The uneasy admixture of electronics, krautrock and minimalist techno shifted gears in unpredictable places. Tracks like ‘Careful’ flung you into orbit, and then cast you adrift in irresolute sound. ‘Paralyser’ was a throbbing migraine of sound with a beat structure that promised a successful launch but, again, frustratingly lead to stasis. The effect of it was like listening to Kid A for the first time. You thought you were witnessing a crime, but your mind was so displaced that any testimony about what happened was invalid. Then, after a few listens it starts to make sense. There’s suddenly an internal consistency to the seemingly inscrutable and platonic sound.

The new album from Suuns, Felt takes these woozy and restless sounds, with all their lopsided parameters, and builds on the strengths of Hold/Still with some new ideas, some I suspect which were born earlier out of their collaboration with band, Jerusalem in My Heart. A modernist middle-eastern feel evident on track ‘Look No Further’. Although Felt still occasionally messes you up with an innate tendency to side-track musical ideas and head-off on unexpected tangents, tracks like ‘Watch You Watch Me’ premiere a more upbeat and consistent approach to composition that is playful and a bit less daunting. ‘X-Alt’ is not the impending beat slammer you think it’s going to be, and it shifts gears more often than a Lada in heavy traffic, but nonetheless these subversions do little to dampen the enjoyment of the guitar-lead groove. It still descends into a maelstrom of inexplicable sound, but go with it, it’s just life out of balance.

The emotionally dissonant ‘Daydream’ trails off into a whirling vortex of night terrors, and the sweat induced by the abrasive ‘After the Fall’ is brought about by a barely discernible change to the irresolute key, not changing down to accommodate relief. Mired in the distraught. In many ways, that track (After the Fall) is reminiscent of the sombre ambient textures of Kranky artist, Loscil, who also share a fascination for claustrophobic sound. See also the track ‘Control’ which sinks its tranquillising fangs into you whether your moods fits or not.

‘Peace and Love’ settles into a narcotic groove, and ‘Moonbeams’ is like a rediscovered wind-up music box haunted by the darks spirits of the industrial age.

Suuns are at the vanguard of experimental music bordering cleverly with the accessible.   

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